Everest ascent described as 'easy' by tour companies

Queues to reach world's highest summit are part of an overtourism problem facing many destinations.

Some tour companies have described climbing Mt Everest as "easy", which is contributing to the widely reported queues to reach the summit and high numbers of deaths among climbers.

Experienced local mountain guide Kami Rita Sherpa told the BBC that an increase in the number of less experienced climbers is being caused by tour companies underestimating the risk that novices face when trying to summit the world’s tallest mountain.

The image below, taken by @Nimsdai went viral recently and highlighted the number of people taking on an ascent that was once only attempted by the most skilled, fit and mountain-ready of climbers.

Image credit: @Nimsdai, Project Possible

While the problems being encountered on Everest are an extreme example of overtourism, it’s an issue that many destinations around the world are struggling to cope with.

Venice is a prime example of a city struggling to cope with its popularity, and one that has had to introduce a tourist charge for its centre as well as gating certain areas to keep visitor numbers manageable.

Overtourism was discussed last week by a panel of incentive travel experts at the C&IT International Forum in Madrid. The debate covered the logistics of taking large groups to busy areas and whether the most popular places should be avoided altogether in peak seasons by incentive travel planners.

"In the very popular areas there are fewer resources like hotels, tour guides etc, which means we have to book things much further out and go outside of the busy season," said Kuba Piotrowski, global conference and event manager at Oriflame Cosmetics.

For Marilyn Levi, managing director of the Corporate Entertainment Consultancy, overtourism has led to slipping standards of hospitality in certain cities.

"In places like Nice and Paris the hotels get so many customers that they don't have to try so hard any more and the service levels have dropped," Levi said. "That's why we look at other destinations like Lyon."

At ‘Tomorrow’s Urban Travel’, a conference held in Copenhagen last year, Harvard University professor Megan Epler Wood told an audience that the economic benefits of tourism can often be outweighed by an "invisible burden" that leaves destinations economically worse off in the long-run.

Crowds of visitors to Venice

For Everest, part of the solution may lie in privatising access to the summit, suggested Bloomberg columnist Adam Levi.

"Reforms that restrict the numbers of paying climbers and trekkers are unlikely to make much progress against the economic incentives to increase traffic," he said.

"Instead, Nepal should seek to invite the private sector to help manage Everest and other peaks. More commercialisation, not less, is the best route to promoting safety."

 

For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
ICCA reveals new destination rankings by meeting attendees

ICCA reveals new destination rankings by meeting attendees

Country and city rankings by estimated total number of participants published in ICCA's latest statistics report.

New regional vice president for ILEA

New regional vice president for ILEA

International Live Events Association appoints new RVP for EMEA who will work with regional chapters.

'Your phone and computer have off buttons and you do deserve a break sometimes'

'Your phone and computer have off buttons and you do deserve a break sometimes'

A-List 2019: Francesca Secola, event manager, Pure Events

'Real step change' in how destinations attract business

'Real step change' in how destinations attract business

VisitBritain's Kerrin Macphie discusses international strategy and 'mapping out' the UK's business events capacity.

Telford to welcome eye specialists in 2020

Telford to welcome eye specialists in 2020

College of Optometrists' annual congress Optometry Tomorrow will be held at Telford International Centre in 2020.

'It's important to demonstrate that you can work out of your comfort zone'

'It's important to demonstrate that you can work out of your comfort zone'

A-List 2019: Georgia O'Rourke, event manager MCI Experience.

Paris to host 2021 European Society for Medical Oncology congress

Paris to host 2021 European Society for Medical Oncology congress

Doctors and cancer research professionals will gather at the Paris Convention Centre in September 2021.

The 5 most common event planning mistakes

The 5 most common event planning mistakes

From budget woes to lack of cultural sensitivity, don't let any of these problems ruin your day, says event director Mauri Gómez.

License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

With new details about the latest filming locations in Jamaica released, we look at some of 007's previous business trips.

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

A-List 2019: AOK Events' senior account manager Louise O'Keeffe.

LATEST JOBS